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Green MEP: New EU packaging rules a win for human health and environment

Green Party MEP for Ireland South, Grace O’Sullivan, has welcomed provisional agreement on new EU rules on packaging and packaging waste, describing the deal as a win for human health and the environment.

Speaking following nine hours of negotiations between the European Commission, Council, and Parliament representatives, which resulted in provisional agreement, O’Sullivan said: “The provisional agreement to reform EU rules on packaging and packaging waste represents a significant win for human health and the environment. 

“In the face of intense lobbying from the plastic and chemicals industries, and others who benefit from our single-use, throwaway culture, the EU has set more ambitious targets for reducing packaging waste, and increased the scope of many rules. Agreement has been reached that will see PFAS - harmful forever chemicals used in food packaging, banned within 18 months, a ban on plastic wrapping on fruit and veg, mandatory roll-out of deposit and return schemes across EU member states, and measures to tackle over-packaging, including a ban on oversized boxes and parcels being used for small items, and a ban on polystyrene in-fills in packaging.

“We will also see a return to reusable glass bottles for beverages such as beer, mineral water and soft drinks, thanks to mandatory reuse targets. While I believe that the European Commission’s original proposals were more ambitious in terms of scope, targets and timelines, I welcome this agreement as a positive step, and I’m looking forward to ratification by the European Parliament.”

Ireland generates more packaging waste per capita than any other country in the EU, with 246 kg of packaging per person per year. This includes, on average, over 74 kg of plastic, of which less than a third is recycled.

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